portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ ˈpȯr-trət How to pronounce portrait (audio) , -ˌtrāt\

Definition of portrait

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : picture especially : a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face
2 : a sculptured figure : bust
3 : a graphic portrayal in words

portrait

adjective

Definition of portrait (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a rectangular document having the vertical dimension longer than the horizontal dimension switching from landscape to portrait mode — compare landscape sense 3

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Examples of portrait in a Sentence

Noun

The queen posed for her portrait. The book presents a portrait of life in a small town.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

How does one accurately describe the thrill that this black-and-white portrait of Pat Buckley begets? Teen Vogue, "What Is Butchcamp? An Explainer by Way of 10 Past Met Gala Looks," 2 May 2019 The whole series is about building a really accurate portrait of Anne Lister. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Gentleman Jack Creator Sally Wainwright on the Secret Code in Anne Lister’s Diaries," 30 Apr. 2019 Among the stars widely suspected of having Dorian Gray-esque portraits of themselves hidden away in some attic are Jennifer Lopez, Angela Bassett, and Kate Beckinsale. Marci Robin, Allure, "Paul Rudd Just Turned 50 and Still Looks Exactly the Same as He Did in the ‘90s," 7 Apr. 2019 The show includes 50 contemporary works by 40-plus artists including Andy Warhol and Kehinde Wiley, who painted Obama's post-presidential portrait. Dylan Jackson, miamiherald, "It's not just bars. From art museums to fundraisers, Miami has World Cup fever," 10 July 2018 This show of more than 20 canvases from the late 1920s to the mid-30s may not change that, but the mix of landscapes with bright patterns and several eerie portraits based on family photographs are surprisingly of the moment. New York Times, "24 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 21 June 2018 Several stunning portraits line the walls, which are painted pale blue. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "Princess Eugenie's Instagram of Her Dad Reveals Something It's Not Supposed To," 13 June 2018 This four-part portrait created by Henry Louis Gates Jr., who also serves as host, draws from a bottomless-seeming treasury of period photos eloquent in their testimony. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Reconstruction: America After the Civil War’ Review: Progress and Obstruction," 4 Apr. 2019 Some of the most recognizable imagery from The Face over the years include: the black and white Madonna portrait, a young Kate Moss in a Native American headdress that surely wouldn’t fly today, and Andre 3000 styled as an Egyptian prince. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "The Youth Culture Magazine That Put Naomi Campbell and Missy Elliot on the Cover Is Relaunching," 1 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet for all the darkness, there’s a welcome and important dose of levity too, from a hilarious video of a beauty products fair by María Luisa Bemberg to Regina Vater’s playful, costumed self-portrait photographs. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 Arneson sets the tone through a ceramic self-portrait head from 1973, wall-mounted near the entry. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "This Candy Store wasn't a candy store: Remembering a California gallery that made art stars," 3 July 2018 In portrait orientation, the left side of the bottom bar only has space for about three to four app icons. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Chrome OS revives Google’s tablet future," 23 June 2018 And even though the demand for photographers in traditional media has declined, there’s still a high-demand for commercial and portrait photographers. Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "20 In-Demand Freelance Skills That’ll Get You Hired Today," 4 June 2018 Dorothea Tanning’s self-portrait Birthday (1942) shows her bare-breasted, standing with a small winged monster with her back to a house full of open doors. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Art Museum show gives American Modernists - and Philly ones - new respect," 12 Apr. 2018 The heads presage a self-portrait print from 1990, displayed nearby, as well as the soft fabric figurative sculptures that Bourgeois took up in the late ’90s. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Louise Bourgeois: Imagination Unfolds in All Dimensions," 27 Sep. 2017 Portrait sessions for families whose memories were stolen by the wind. Southern Living, "What Stands in a Storm, Part III: Fellowship," 1 May 2017 There’s a 1922 self-portrait painting of Best Maugard in the show. Holland Cotter, New York Times, "“Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950”," 27 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portrait.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of portrait

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for portrait

Noun

Middle French, from past participle of portraire

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Statistics for portrait

Last Updated

6 May 2019

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Time Traveler for portrait

The first known use of portrait was in 1570

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More Definitions for portrait

portrait

noun

English Language Learners Definition of portrait

: a painting, drawing, or photograph of a person that usually only includes the person's head and shoulders
: a detailed description of something or someone
: a way of printing a page so that the shorter sides are on the top and bottom and the longer sides are on the left and right

portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ ˈpȯr-trət How to pronounce portrait (audio) , -ˌtrāt\

Kids Definition of portrait

: a picture of a person usually showing the face

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More from Merriam-Webster on portrait

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portrait

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for portrait

Spanish Central: Translation of portrait

Nglish: Translation of portrait for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portrait for Arabic Speakers

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